Fury over Wrexham Council plan to sell off school land for luxury homes

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A PLAN to sell off school land to make way for executive homes has been branded ‘outrageous’.

Wrexham Council has put forward proposals to sell land at Darland High in Rossett to property developers.

The move could raise as much as £2.5 million for the cash-strapped authority.

But the plan has been met with a furious response by Rossett county councillor Hugh Jones, who has stepped down as a member of Darland High’s board of governors to fight the plans.

Cllr Jones said holding on to precious recreational space was far more important than raising money for the council.

A report before Wrexham Council’s executive board last year revealed a shortfall of 5.4 hectares in outdoor sports facilities in Rossett.

Cllr Jones said: “What you are talking about is selling land for the building of executive homes in a village that is short of recreational facilities, which in my view is outrageous.

“To sell it off in the first place is wrong, to sell it off in a village which lacks sports facilities is wrong and to sell it off for expensive housing is fundamentally wrong.”

According to plans, the school tennis courts would be relocated elsewhere on school grounds as part of a huge refurbishment programme.

But Cllr Jones said the land involved was not just restricted to the tennis courts.

He said: “The old governing body and old headmaster agreed to sell off a tennis court. I opposed it and as a result I resigned from the governors.

“The original governors, when they agreed to it, had no sight of the scale of the land, which is significantly more than the tennis courts.

“But even if it were just tennis courts, I am still opposed to school recreational land being used for housing development because once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Rossett Community Council has also opposed the plans and says it could be 10 years before new tennis courts are built.

The current board of governors has asked for more details on the plans, while Cllr Jones says he has called for further consultation, meaning the proposals will probably not come before the council’s executive board until July.

John Davies, chief learning and achievement officer at Wrexham Council, said:
“This issue has been raised and a group of officers will meet with the headteacher and some of the governors to discuss it.”

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